Weekly Refresh: Kamala Harris’ Tech Ties, Oracle Eyes TikTok, and More

The Democratic VP candidate has had a close relationship with Big Tech in recent years, but will it factor into how a Biden administration would craft tech policy? This, and more SF tech news you may have missed.

Written by Joe Erbentraut
Published on Aug. 24, 2020
Weekly Refresh: Kamala Harris’ Tech Ties, Oracle Eyes TikTok, and More
kamala harris tech san francisco news
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Kamala Harris’ tech ties run deep. The Democratic VP candidate had a close relationship with tech giants like Facebook, Salesforce and Google while she was California’s attorney general, and that relationship could be a factor in how a Biden administration might approach its tech policy. [New York Times]

Airbnb files confidentially for IPO. The home-sharing platform has struggled in the pandemic, but is seeing some signs of life as business picks up in rural areas in particular. The number of shares on offer and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. [Built In SF]

Oracle enters the race for TikTok. Software giant Oracle has thrown its hat in the ring of companies vying for a takeover of TikTok’s U.S. operations. The company has reportedly met with ByteDance, the social media platform’s Chinese parent company, and is coordinating with TikTok’s investors on a deal. President Donald Trump has set a 90-day deadline before the company’s U.S. operations would be forced to shutter, prompting a lawsuit from TikTok in return. [The Guardian]

Kent Beck says tech has a compassion deficit. We recently spoke with the creator of extreme programming, who left Facebook in 2018 and now works for people management platform Gusto, about the state of tech today. [Built In SF]

Incredible Health is using AI to help hospitals meet staffing challenges. The nursing industry is facing a staffing shortage at the worst possible time: in the middle of a pandemic. We spoke with SF-based Incredible Health’s CEO Iman Abuzeid about how its platform is helping hospitals recruit and hire nurses with more efficiency. [Built In SF]

Lyft, Uber get more time. The ride-hailing apps had threatened to cease their operations in California after a court ruled that they must designate drivers as employees, but now the companies have more time to comply with the ruling. The companies are urging voters to back a ballot measure in November, Prop 22, that would keep drivers and other workers in the gig economy as independent contractors. [CNET]

A tech exodus silver lining? While some tech workers have already left the Bay Area and others are expected to follow amid the remote work revolution of 2020, this trend could be a plus for the region’s tech employers. Companies may find it easier to hire and grow their teams beyond new talent who could afford the region’s notoriously high housing costs, as one example shows. What this might mean for those workers’ longer-term professional development, due to the reduced access to networking opportunities, remains unknown. [Bloomberg City Lab]

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